SAARC SG for promotion of trade, economic cooperation
LAHORE: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa has underscored the need for promotion of trade and economic cooperation between its member states.
He was talking to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed on Saturday.
The SAARC secretary general said that he feels great pleasure to be in Pakistan and is thankful to the government and business community for holding 12th SAARC Trade Fair.
He said that seven areas of cooperation have been identified, which would boost intra-SAARC trade, adding that issues of visa should be resolved while there should be no visa restriction for the businessmen. “We should improve understanding to work for the betterment of trade and economic scenario within the SAARC region,” he added.
He said that businessmen of SAARC member states can influence their respective governments and advice them how to make trade and economic relations better.
The SAARC SG also lauded the efforts of LCCI for promoting intra-SAARC trade, which is need of the hour.
LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder said that we have to bring an emphatic change in the bilateral trade among the SAARC member countries as being done in the European Union. He urged the need for removing the hidden barriers, which are hampering trade between the SAARC countries.
The LCCI SVP said that there is no doubt that SAARC has a great potential for regional trade which is estimated to be around $100 billion but currently it is ranging between $28 to 30 billion. “We could make it look much better if we encourage trade and investment within the region rather than preferring trade via third countries. We have to encourage people-to-people contacts, cooperate in all fields of life and explore such avenues of liaison, which can promote feel-good factors among us.
He said that opening up of the SAARC market is the need of the hour and in this scenario, most important point to be noted is that a balanced and cautious approach is needed to be adopted at the early stages to begin with.